"Hey, what's this all about?"
"I'll be fucked if I know..."
Entropy Gradient Reversals

other readers' comments...
add your own remarks...

Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed,
quietly and unobtrusively, by someone else. I just don't happen to think
it's an appropriate subject for an "ethic."

Barbara Ehrenreich

It's true hard work never killed anybody,
but I figure, why take the chance?

Ronald Reagan

First, A Note On The Text...

Everyone needs a resume. It is a passport to crucial livelihood options, such as the ability to dine in fine restaurants rather than from the dumpster behind the local 7-11; to live in a home of one's own rather than a refrigerator shipping crate; and perhaps most importantly, to put one's personal stamp on the truck and commerce of the world at large: to make one's mark, as it were. Like you, Valued Readers, we also maintain such a resume, and like most of you -- having studied our Negroponte -- we have put it online in digital form. You can view it at:


But there is a fatal flaw in such documents. They give dates and datapoints, but rarely add up to a whole -- or even barely adequate -- picture of the individual they are intended to represent in absentia. We here at EGR World HQ have been struggling with this problem for some time. Readers who have followed the development of this excremental little zine will immediately recognize the foremost source of our discomfiture in this regard, i.e., we are plural. In contrast, the canonical resume seeks to present a profile of its subject as a predictably one-dimensional persona. As we all know, such entities do not occur in nature.

True, we could add a section to our curriculum vitae along the following lines:

However, as long-time readers will instantly recognize, these various characterizations hardly do justice to the much larger agenda we have come to term, for lack of a more embracing label, "Entropy Gradient Reversals."

Finally, though, we have hit upon a solution to this thorny problem, and it comes from a most unexpected quarter: the garden variety cover letter. The purpose of such an instrument is to place the job applicant's work experience and skill base into the context of overall career goals. We realized we could leverage an enormous asset to overcome this perennial impasse: our trusty AI, BOMBAST II. Since the system had already been programmed (at great expense we might add) to reflect our assumptions, inclinations, passions, and general feelings about life, the universe and everything, what, we reasoned, could more perfectly convey a holistic impression of our True -- even if multipartite -- Self?

For those interested in the methodology employed, it is briefly described in a previous issue: The BOMBAST II Transcripts, Run 1: I Was a Teenage Brain Surgeon. One new addition was the hyperlinking module, on which BOMBAST II seems to have relied quite heavily, as demonstrated in the following output.

The BOMBAST II Transcripts, Run 3:
The Cover Letter

Dear Prospective Employer:

As you can see from the attached resume, we are highly qualified for the position of [insert anal retentive job title here]. However, we are bored beyond tears by your published job description. We'd like to take this opportunity to propose something a little different.

Even a fleeting glimpse of our CV will alert you to the fact that we have attempted to practice some form of marketing in organizations, which -- as we're sure you'll recognize from your own long experience -- could not position their way out of the proverbial wet paper bag. Of course, some of these work engagements date back to the Jurassic era, when such bungling botchery might more readily be forgiven by markets that knew the perpetrators only as four-color spreads in Business Week. However, now that the Internet has become home to all bipedal hominids living outside of zoos, such ineptitude has become a threat to the very survival of many corporations not unlike your own. On the off chance that your firm is not among the aforementioned class of doddering dunderheads, the following outlines several salient truths we believe we have grasped with respect to the changing nature of consumer expectations in today's increasingly online economy.

Most of these insights come from publishing what is referred to in Internet parlance as a "webzine" -- a new phenomenon that differs from the traditional magazine to the same degree that anti-lock brakes differ from a poke in the eye with a sharp stick shift. We have been publishing Entropy Gradient Reversals since May 1 1996, and in that time have gathered a modest subscriber base of some 1200 souls -- or 2400 "eyeballs," to again use the prevailing Internet lingo. While these numbers may appear trivial when compared to, say, the 80 million visitors per day to Microsoft's web server, we believe they represent a significant "focus group" by which certain critical inferences can be drawn about consumer attitudes in general. As we move into a far more networked business milieu, foreknowledge of this shifting mindset could well be defining of success or failure in your company's future online initiatives.

We group our findings about Internet audiences into three distinct categories:

  1. overall characteristics,
  2. things they could give a shit about, and
  3. things they appear to value.

1. Overall Characteristics

spacera great time or what?
oh wow, man...

2. Things They Could Give a Shit About

3. Things They Appear to Value

Right about now, you're probably wondering, "But how could this work for my organization?" Well, good, because that's just what we've been leading up to. The simple fact is: you could virtually own Entropy Gradient Reversals, locke, stock and barrel. That's right, we're putting the whole zine up for sale to the highest bidder -- or perhaps we should say "up for rent." Who will "acquire" us? Netscape? Microsoft? Novell? Oracle? IBM? We're incredibly excited about the whole idea. We're peeing our pants with anticipation. And which of these organizations wouldn't share our excitement? Imagine being able to say:

Entropy Gradient Reversals is brought to you by [Your Company Name Here].

Aside from the fact that it'll cost you a boatload of cash, there's only one non-negotiable condition: we will continue to write exactly as we have to date. Think of the recognition, stature and unparalleled prestige your company will gain with online communities when we trash you right along with the rest of the Clue Impaired. And the beauty part? You get a banner on every page at no extra charge!

Now, perhaps, you can better understand why we are not interested in applying for your advertised position as [insert anal retentive job title here]. This is so much better! We have long believed that, as corporations come increasingly to resemble the great City States of the High Renaissance, they should also adopt one of the noblest institutions of that golden era: patronage. If you like our basic idea but would argue that your investment ought to buy you greater editorial control, think about Michelangelo for a minute. Imagine Lorenzo insisting on having "Bank With Medici!" inserted into various panels on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. See what we mean? It'd just wreck the whole thing.

Eagerly awaiting a response at your earliest convenience, we remain...

Sincerely Yours,


Adam and Eve Save at First National


Nothing to disclaim at this time.


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                                     Entropy Gradient Reversals
                                     CopyLeft Christopher Locke


"reality leaves a lot to the imagination..." John Lennon

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